Tag Archives: Manny Schvartzman
Six months into the pandemic, theater artists are struggling with a profoundly damaging dimension particular to their purgatory-like limbo: The calling that gives their lives meaning requires interaction with other people in the same room. Late this summer, 33 South Florida storytellers agreed to draw back the curtain on their backstage battles that form the spine of an all too real three-act drama.
Island City Stage’s highly entertaining production of the musical Zanna, Don’t! will never be confused with a show by Stephen Sondheim, though there are numerous references to the famed composer. Amid the numerous pop culture references, , and well-timed humor, Zanna, Don’t! slyly, yet forcefully, maintains that everyone has a right to love whom they want.
Homicidal rage against a corrupt world spews into the audience in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Sweeney Todd. But its singular spin is that the serial throat-slitting barber does not start as a vengeance-obsessed fiend. It it adds a dimension of, not forgiveness, but compassion to this cross between gleeful Grand Guignol and merciless condemnation of socio-economic inequity.
Thomas Wolfe warned that you can’t go home again, but Slow Burn Theatre Company’s revival of its 2012 production of Avenue Q is a welcome and joyful return to the neighborhood and the ol’ gang.
Sweet Charity is a fundamentally flawed showcase that virtually no one has ever pulled off satisfyingly, but Broward Stage Door director Michael Leeds makes a solid enough stab at it that a receptive undemanding audiences won’t mind having spent a few hours in its pleasant company.
It almost should go without saying that the rock ’n’ roll blisters the paint off the walls of Actors’ Playhouse’s balcony theater in its thoroughly satisfying edition of Million Dollar Quartet.
You know you wanted to murder some abusive soul-crushing bullies and snobs when you were in high school. Heathers knows it and wants to liberate your daydream. So do the cool kids and not-so-cool kids at Slow Burn Theatre Company giving a hilarious don’t-miss production of the 2014 off-Broadway musical version of the 1988 cult classic film.
Slow Burn Theatre Company gives the perennial favorite The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as excellent a production as we’ve seen of it, hitting the perfect balance between the hilarious and poignant, marked with a child’s exuberance for living and an adult’s compassion for the angst over the process of losing innocence.
Slow Burn Theatre Company has once again tackled a difficult show in Chess that few if any Florida companies would attempt. And once again, it has come out the victor, at least as victorious as any production can be of this work that divides audiences.
Even if Slow Burn’s moving production of the dark and dangerous musical Parade wasn’t the success that it indeed is, the troupe would deserve honor for the fearlessness in choosing a pre-ordained tragedy about anti-Semitism that mixes soaring melodies with discomforting dissonance. But this company has again delivered an enviable piece of theater that challenges the audience as well as its artists.